By By Ejike E. Okpa ii
Take a pick from what I consider the ‘M’ Factors in US America relationship with the world: Manifest Destiny, Monroe Doctrine, Media, Money, Military, Missionary and of course, believe it; McDonald’s.
The last one is because US will not go to war with a country that has a McDonald’s franchise. The reason is that when one breaks bread with another, they may disagree but such disagreement should not lead to war. Out of these, one can see where US feels its feathers ruffled when nations try to do things without relying on US. If we in US are number 1, who is number 2? It is hard to say because Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of UK, once said while visiting SMU in Dallas, that UK is number 1. I wanted to ask him to reconcile US being number 1 and UK number1, but he was not taking questions.
Are we in US ‘cry babies’ whining and bitching because of what we consider the rising of China? Isn’t it beneficial when everyone in a neighborhood is successful so that no neighbor is begging and bearing down on others because of their needs?
Some in US keep alluding to Communist Party of China as if it is a bad political party. In the eyes of naÃ¯ve Americans, it is. But remember, US America is the one that borrowed heavily from China and as such, is indebted to her. If s/he who pays the piper is standard of dictating how the tune is to be played, China has the right to decide that tune.
US America is in China’s pocket, and if money talks, the rest is nonsense, since we worship power and money. If we in US America do not want to be beholding to China, we should stop borrowing from China, but from India; the world largest democracy and maybe the outcome would be different. But I doubt India can lend anyone a dime.
Democracy is now seen as not the panacea for economic development as proved by China; the world’s largest communist nation. For one to develop, they have to tighten their national interests, make sacrifices and if possible, stay away from the prescriptions of World Bank and IMF; two institutions that tend to see things the way of the western world. Back in the late 1980s, these institutions, in what they thought was prescriptions to solving economic crises especially in unsuspecting and easily pliable nations, hoisted SAP – Structural Adjustment Programs.
Now that US is in dire strait with its deficit and request for increase in debt ceiling, IMF has not shown up to prescribe a solution. It means; there is US and then the rest of the world, which states that even though ‘all animals are equal, some are more equal than others’ by design.
Countries in Africa and Latin America, seen then as weak and headless, were cajoled and when necessary compelled, to swallow the bitter pills of World Bank and IMF, with Paris and London Clubs as agents. China, never subscribed to the World Bank/IMF prescriptions, instead it sought to develop from within [organically], observing what not to do and adopting what it knew and still knows works for its own people.
When it comes down to it, economic development is local – cashing in on the people while welcoming outside programs that are tailored to advancing and enhancing local needs. The notion that nations must be subservient to another so that it can grow is as false as saying the sun shall one rise from the West, and that all one needs to see that happen is to be patient and pray harder.
The attendant result of World Bank and IMF prescriptions, led to near and or total collapse in some countries. And once down, these nations were encouraged to take on foreign debts [encouraged to be come export oriented economic extended line of credits], which added to their economic woes and agony. However, if what FDR stood for is a standard – litmus test for national interest; that is, ‘no nation should undermine its own economic well being’, then it stands that every nation should strive for what is good for their country [unapologetically and unrelenting]. In doing so, they must not give up so much that they become a dependent nation when they are an independent one.
It is often hard for the ‘Emperor’ to see his Empire crumbling because in his mind’s eyes, the Emperor must do all he can to prop it up. Does pride go before a fall? Yes, but prudent nations must recognize when to stop, adjust and amend to new ways and expectations.
US America may downplay China’s position, but China has shown strength and does so not following US/western prescribed model. There is everything to gain by the two sides learning from each other; especially coming from opposing political systems but successful economic approaches. We should observe and not complain. The world is no longer naÃ¯ve. This is just an awakening call: We in US America must realize the days we dictated what happens is fast going by.
When we had money, we flexed the muscle and told everyone what to do; now that the tide is turning and those we once looked down on are dishing and applying the same type of medicine we once used on them, we are alleging foul play and being ‘cry baby.’ The age long saying, â€˜what goes up must come down, may be the case here.’ US America was up, but now even we Americans doubt the media instituted attitude, we are the one of the world.
Let others enjoy the sunshine; it could help us adjust and then become respectable members of the comity of nations and not an arrogant and insistent one. In a world of the ‘blind,’ a one eyed man is often king – a dangerous situation. We need all to see so we do not default into describing a rattle snake as a python.
We must recognize as we point fingers at how bad others are, that we in America did not start off all loving and caring of all within our borders. The native Indians are still marginalized. White women did not start to vote until much later and of course, blacks were adjudged properties owned and disposed off as the owners wanted.
We are expected to be neighborly without condemning others. There are still loads of injustices being perpetrated in US America in 21st century. The sense of condemnation that we Americans export to the world is so annoying that it makes it hard for others to accord us respect and really appreciate what goodness we may carry. Let others live. We are not the only ones that think we have all the answers while we don’t.
I am reminded of an experience Henry Kissinger had on his epoch visit to China in hope of normalizing relations. When he and his ‘experts’ from the State Department finished what they thought was a resounding presentation that should dazzle and impress the Chinese: All they got in response from the Chinese was, ‘We are a dynasty’ and US America has nothing to tell or teach us. That shocked the Americans because the average American believes s/he has the answers and the rest are clueless. Not so. Sometimes, it pays to just be quiet, listen and observe. With an undue sense of ‘manifest destiny’ and a drive to force our values, we have become irritants. We should step aside a little and allow others be. It is an irony, we consider Community China as bad, yet we are licking the grounds they walk on as we borrow from them.
Isn’t it a sense of arrogance that we owe someone and them we turn around and say they are bad? A debtor has no choice, except of course, the debtors is US America; the crown jewel of the world??, living on borrowed times.
Respect is reciprocal: It must be earned and not demanded. US America should strive to earn the respect of the world in order for her to be accorded desiring seat at the table where world issues are discussed. When we come with the sense we are the ‘Alpha and Omega’, God’s Gift to Humanity, erroneously crafted, designed and hoisted by media outlets that proclaims annoyingly ‘We are number 1′, we get the sort of resistance that frustrates our best intentions.
If we are patriotic, others substitute that by being nationalistic, and nothing is wrong with that. It is semantics with English language; a fluid dialect. There is no way 300 million-plus people in US America are better, progressive, productive and or smarter than 6 billion in the rest of the world. My study and understanding of statistics, declines such notion and inclination.
Ejike E. Okpa ii– Is
Nigerian-American, Dallas, Texas.